NHP investigates car chase; suspect held on $250,000 bail
Three Douglas County sheriff’s deputies suffered minor injuries and two patrol cars were damaged when they bumped a car driven by a fleeing domestic battery suspect on Highway 395 in Gardnerville Thursday night.
The officers, suspect and victim were all treated for minor injuries and released following the incident, which began at 7:40 p.m. with a 911 call reporting domestic battery in the Topaz Lake area.
It ended with the arrest of John Gregory Good, 37, of Gardnerville. He is being held for investigation of domestic battery, a misdemeanor, battery on a police officer, robbery, eluding a peace officer and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, all felonies.
Good was also served with a Carson City warrant for failing to complete DUI school. He is being held on $250,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first appearance Monday morning in East Fork Justice Court.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Lt. Ross Chichester said deputies attempted to stop Good near Jakes Hill shortly after the battery call.
Douglas deputies tried to surround the suspect vehicle, a 1983 Cadillac, just north of Riverview Drive, but the suspect rammed the rear of a patrol car occupied by deputies Robert Duffy and Phil Lesquereux.
Deputy Joe Duffy, who was following the suspect, bumped the vehicle, causing the car to spin out. Robert Duffy’s patrol car then hit the passenger side of the Cadillac. The collision happened in the area of Virginia Ranch Road.
Court records say Good refused to exit the car, and the officers broke a window and removed him without incident. One of the patrol cars is expected to be a total loss, while the other sustained moderate damage.
Sheriff Ron Pierini didn’t have a damage estimate Friday monring. He said both cars will have to be inspected before a full damage assessment is completed.
Court records say Good took the Cadillac without permission from a repair shop where he works. Descriptions of the damage to the vehicle were not available.
n Broken finger. The alleged domestic battery victim told a deputy that Good had arrived at a Topaz Lake campground demanding the rings she was wearing and the keys to her vehicle. Court records say the woman, who identified Good as an former boyfriend, suffered a broken finger when Good tried to forcibly remove the rings, and that Good choked her and threw her against her vehicle during the struggle.
A check of East Fork Justice Court records yielded no temporary restraining orders or domestic battery convictions, though Good was convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license in June. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and has been serving it on weekends.
The woman told officers that Good had battered her during their relationship, which ended in May, and that he repeatedly tried to contact her against her wishes, but she declined to file stalking charges. She also said he previously tried to steal her rings and pawn them.
The report also said a check of Good’s criminal history showed a felony spousal rape conviction, two previous arrests for domestic battery, two drunken driving convictions and various arrests in California.
The Nevada Highway Patrol will investigate the collision because Douglas County officers were involved. NHP spokesman Jeff Leathley said details on the speed at which the collision occurred were not available Friday, and that the investigation could take a few days or several weeks.
Deputy Joe Duffy used what’s called a legal intervention technique, in which suspect vehicles are intentionally jolted in an effort to force the driver off the road.
“That’s a really smart thing to do. They were heading toward a populated area,” said Chichester.
“They did what they had to do,” said Pierini. “I think the main thing is that there was no serious injury.”
n Rarely used. Chichester said the legal intervention technique is rarely used in Douglas County, and officers generally notify their commanding officers if they plan to use it. The proximity of the chase to Gardnerville probably was a factor in the officer’s decision, Chichester said.
“You wouldn’t do that for a simple speeding ticket. It has to be something substantial,” he said.
Robert and Joe Duffy are brothers. Chichester said Robert has worked for the department since 1997, while Joe started at Douglas in 1995. Phil Lesquereux, who was riding with Robert Duffy, has worked for the department since 1993.